I spent tonight at the city council meeting because I heard that they would be discussing permitting street musicians to play in the city. (…and it was hot and a really good excuse for not going to Aikido class, again. Sorry Isaiah).
Santa Rosa currently has a noise ordinance on the books that prevents playing music, or making noise with the intent to attract attention, anywhere in the city without an event permit, which would set you back $75 a day. (We found this out a couple years ago when we tried to play downtown and were greeted by police before we could take our instruments out of the cases).
The addition to the code discussed tonight would allow musicians and other street performers to obtain a free permit to play in the city as long as they obeyed some simple rules. The council voted unanimously, with one member absent, to approve the new permit. Aaron spent a lot of time working to get this done. (See Bohemian article here).
On the whole this is a lot better that the previous ordinance, if you can ignore the fact that we’re being asked to give up our first amendment right for the privilege of applying for a permit to express ourselves.
When I first started playing fiddle at the Sonoma county sessions Roxanne used to play this tune on her accordion. I happened to get a hand written copy of the sheet music from my fiddle teacher (Janette Duncan). I found the copy last year and started playing the tune, the melody is so haunting it runs through my head constantly. I know it was recently taught at sierra camp, and the rumor is a certain fiddle and cello player have recorded it for there next CD. Please learn this tune so I have someone to play it with.
We plan to have a tune of the week (or maybe the month…or some other interval yet to be determined) and share some of our favorite tunes. Maybe even encourage people to play them at the local sessions? Well, yesterday, at the second Sunday session at the Redwood Cafe in Cotati, we played a tune called “Pretty Maid Milking the Cow”. Except for the title, it was completely different in every way from the tune I know by that name. I found the version I know in a book called Das Grosse Fiddle Buch that I bought in Germany many years ago.
[Edit: The tune only sounded completely different to me. According to Roxanne, the A part is the same as the waltz, The Pretty Girl Milking the Cow, that she played, but with minor accompaniment, but the B part had few similarities.]
The rumors and buzz on the street are true. We have started recording our first CD (very exciting). Look for audio samples soon. If all goes well we should have a release date just before the holiday shopping season (wink, hint, nudge, nudge).
Would you like to see scores of fiddlers playing? This is your chance! We’ll be playing with the San Fransisco Scottish Fiddlers in Vallejo July 10th, 2010, as part of Vallejo Art & Concerts in the Park Summer Music Series. Outside at Children’s Wonderland on 360 Glenn Street. Performance from 12:00 to 2:00. Admission: $2 (that’s right, two dollars).
A big thank you to all the fine folks we had the pleasure of meeting and playing for at the Sons of Norway Freya Lodge in Santa Rosa. Everyone was so friendly, the food was great, and we’re very happy to have had a reason to add some Norwegian and Scandinavian tunes to our repertoire.
Isaiah and Barry playing at the Sons of Norway Freya Lodge, in Santa Rosa